Don’t DIY home electrics, urges housing association

A housing association in County Durham is urging customers not to work on their own home electrics.

Believe housing says it has seen an increase in the number of homes where potentially dangerous work done by customers or unauthorised contractors has had to be fixed.

A current area of concern is the rise in popularity of scooters and electric bikes with lithium-ion batteries.

Electrical Manager Mark Fort said: “Since the Covid pandemic and the cost of living crisis we are discovering more and more homes where people have tried to do their own home electrics or paid someone who has not been verified as safe, competent and registered. 

“People might think they can save time and money by doing electrical work themselves or employing a cheaper tradesperson.  

“In reality, this can put the lives of everyone in the home, neighbours, and anyone who works on the property in future at risk. And it can end up costing more to make the work safe than it would have to do it right first time.” 

From 2022 to 2023, there were 10 electrical-related fires at believe housing homes. A further two electrical-related fires this year have cost £13,500. 

Michael Oliver, Project Support Team Leader for believe housing’s Customer Home Improvement Team, said: “It is important to us that customers feel at home in their property and take pride in their home and neighbourhood.

“If a customer wants to make a home improvement, they should check our policy first to see what they need to consider and whether approval is required.

“We will not unreasonably withhold permission for home improvements, but work may be refused for safety, energy efficiency and cost reasons.”

Believe housing is holding its second Electrical Safety Week from 13 to 17 November.

The organisation have published a webpage about keeping e-bikes and e-scooters in the home.